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White & Case, RTPR, and CMS Advise on MidEuropa's EUR 1.3 Billion Sale of Profi to Ahold Delhaize

White & Case, RTPR, and CMS Advise on MidEuropa's EUR 1.3 Billion Sale of Profi to Ahold Delhaize

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White & Case and RTPR have advised MidEuropa on its EUR 1.3 billion sale of Romania's Profi supermarket chain to Dutch-Belgian listed retail and wholesale company Ahold Delhaize. CMS and, reportedly, GNP Guia Naghi & Partners advised Ahold Delhaize on the acquisition.

According to White & Case, this is the largest-ever private equity grocery sale in continental Europe.

MidEuropa is a European private equity investor with roots in Central Europe. It has been active for over 20 years, with over EUR 6 billion of assets under management and 45 businesses backed to date.

According to the seller's press release, Profi is Romania’s leading convenience and proximity supermarket chain operating a network of more than 1,650 stores. It employs more than 28,000 people in Romania and generated revenues of more than EUR 2.5 billion in the twelve months ending June 2023. "Following MidEuropa’s acquisition of Profi in 2017, the company has become the largest supermarket chain in Romania (based on number of stores) and one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, successfully adding over 1,100 stores and increasing sales by more than 3.3 times."

Ahold Delhaize is a food retail group active in both supermarkets and e-commerce. It serves over 60 million customers in the US, Europe, and Indonesia. In Romania, Ahold Delhaize already operates a nationwide network of 969 stores, under the Mega Image brand.

"The sale of Profi is our second over EUR 1 billion exit in the retail sector in Central Europe," MidEuropa Managing Partner Robert Knorr commented. "A very important exit for the Central European region, which continues to be home to some of the most compelling growth companies in Europe."

Profi was initially sold by its founder to Enterprise Investors, back in 2009 when it operated 65 stores, for EUR 66 million. Enterprise Investors then sold the Romanian supermarket chain to Mid Europa Partners in 2016 – when it operated 484 stores – for EUR 533 million. RTPR also advised on the 2016 transaction (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on November 24, 2016).

The White & Case team was led by London-based Partners Ken Barry and Will Summers and included Prague-based Partner Jonathan Weinberg and other lawyers from the firm's London, Washington, and Helsinki offices.

The RTPR team was led by Managing Partner Costin Taracila, Partner Roxana Ionescu, and Managing Associate Marina Fecheta-Giurgica and included at least ten other RTPR professionals.

The CMS team was led by Romania-based Managing Partner Horea Popescu, Partner Roxana Fratila, and Counsels Claudia Nagy and Raluca Ionescu, and UK-based Partner Eva Talmacsi and Senior Associate Kristin Shelley, working with more than 20 other lawyers from the firm's Romanian and UK offices.

Editor's Note: After this article was published, GNP Guia Naghi & Partners confirmed it had advised Ahold Delhaize on competition and retail industry-related matters. The firm's team was led by Managing Partner Manuela Guia and Partner Otilia Vilcu and included Senior Associate Patricia Avramescu and Associates Bianca Cernitoiu and Victor Stefan.

CMS at a Glance

CMS Sofia is a full-service law firm, the largest international law firm in Bulgaria and one of the largest providers of legal services in the local market as a whole. The breadth and depth of our practice means that our lawyers are specialised, with a level of specialisation that few of our competitors can match.

CMS Sofia is the Bulgarian branch of CMS, a top ten global legal and tax services provider with over 5000 lawyers in 43 countries and 78 offices across the world.

CMS entered the Bulgarian market as one of the first internationally active law firms in 2005 and is now among the most respected legal advisors in the country. We have 7 partners, 4 counsel and over 30 lawyers in our office in Sofia.

Our legal experts, who are rooted in Bulgaria’s local culture, can also draw on years of experience in foreign countries and are at home in several legal systems at once. We know the particularities of the local market just as well as the needs of our clients and combine both to achieve optimum solutions. Our lawyers are Bulgarian qualified and we also have English qualified experts – all of them regularly working on cross-border mandates.

In our work, we focus on M&A, Energy, Projects and Construction, Banking and Finance, Real Estate, Media, IP and IT law, Tax, Employment law, Competition, Procurement and any kind of Dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. What’s more, we also take care of the entire legal management of our clients’ projects.

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